A family-owned pizzeria, LaRosa’s, is coming to Richmond, along with job opportunities for students at Eastern Kentucky University.

Timmy Crofford, VP of Operations for LaRosa’s, said that the new location is on track to open in the late spring and the construction process has been smooth, even during the pandemic.

“We feel really confident about the area,” Crofford said. “It has been such a great welcome from the community of Richmond. We had a lot of students that for a while have been commuting from EKU to work at our Lexington locations. We believe in the area and we believe in the growth that is happening in Richmond.”  

Crofford said that LaRosa’s plans on putting a lot of investment into central Kentucky.

LaRosa’s new location in Richmond is located on Lantern Ridge Road, near State Route 876 and I-75. The family-owned pizzeria is still under construction, with a projected late spring grand opening.

LaRosa’s new location will be a 6,437-square-foot restaurant that will include dine-in, pick-up and delivery of its family-recipe pizzas and other Italian favorites with a 160-person capacity dining room. The restaurant will also feature a patio, large parking lot, full-service bar and a “Buddy Room” for parties and events.

Students like Jacob Broadwell, senior broadcasting and electronic media major from Beattyville, KY are excited for the new addition and recommend people try it when it opens.

“I’m very excited about LaRosa’s opening because it’s an opportunity for me to get something that I haven't really had a lot. They opened one up in Lexington, but for the most part, it’s been in Ohio and northern Kentucky.”

Adding a location close to EKU’s campus was a major factor for LaRosa’s expansion to Richmond.

“We get excited when we get close to campuses,” Crofford said. “It’s an opportunity for employees. We have a ton of college students that work for us. We’re flexible with schedules, but also more we love having relationships with the athletic department, campus organizations, sororities and fraternities.”

In 2019, the restaurant group One Holland, which owns and operates the First Watch, Skyline and LaRosa’s restaurants in Richmond and Lexington, was recognized by students at EKU as a ‘Great Place to Work.

“We have opportunities in our organization. We get a lot of business students, we get a lot of hospitality students, communication students, but really majors doesn't truly matter. We have opportunities for our college students to have a job through the semester, through the year, but also opportunities past graduation,” Crofford said. 

Crofford said a couple EKU graduates are a part of the LaRosa’s management team.

According to Crofford, LaRosa’s will start hiring by the end of March. 

“I love the atmosphere, I love the food, I love the appetizers, and the pizza is phenomenal. It’s another opportunity for another place in Richmond for students to eat at. When you think about it, we don’t really have all that much,” Broadwell said.

LaRosa’s was founded in 1954 on Cincinnati’s West Side by Buddy LaRosa. It is now a $167 million restaurant company, with 64 pizzerias serving neighborhoods in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

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